Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Balbinder Singh Bhogal, Ph.D., has been appointed the Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies at Hofstra University, President Stuart Rabinowitz announced today.
Dr. Bhogal will be formally installed on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007 at 5 p.m. at the University Club, north campus. His appointment is effective as of September 1, 2007.“I am delighted to be the next holder of this important chair that has done so much to reinvigorate the field of Sikh Studies,” said Dr. Bhogal. “This position shows the continued commitment Hofstra University and the Bhindra family have towards a true renaissance in the academic study of Sikh religion, philosophy, history, literature, culture and aesthetics. I am honored to be given an opportunity to explore, broaden and further develop this vision in partnership with other Sikh Chairs and related scholars.”
Dr. Bhogal was most recently an associate professor in South Asian religions and cultures, Division of Humanities, Faculty of Arts at York University in Toronto. He received his Ph.D. from London University, School of Oriental and African Studies, 2001, and his B.A. (hons) from Lancaster University. He has served as a professor in departments of religion, philosophy and humanities in universities in England, the United States and Canada. Dr. Bhogal’s interests include South Asian religions and cultures, specializing in Sikh Studies, particularly the philosophy and exegesis of the Guru Granth Sahib; hermeneutic and translation theory and its radicalization through deconstruction; the relationship and interaction between Indian philosophy and Western/Continental philosophy; and the study of mysticism, orientalist and postcolonial discourses.
He has authored two articles in the Routledge journal Sikh Formations: Religion, Culture, Theory: ‘Ghostly Disorientations: Translating the Adi Granth as the Guru Granth’” (2006), and ‘Questioning Hermeneutics with Freud: How to Interpret Dreams and Mute-Speech in Sikh Scripture’ (2005). He has also published three chapters in the following books: ‘Text as Sword: Sikh Religious Violence Taken for Wonder,’ in King and Hinnells edited volume on Religion and Violence in South Asia: Theory and Practice, Routledge 2006, ‘Cross-Cultural Dialogues with Western Fictions: “There is no Hindu nor Muslim – nor Sikh”,’ in Hart’s edited volume Multifaith Britain: An Experiment in Worship, O Books 2002, and ‘On the Hermeneutics of Sikh Thought and Praxis,’ in Shackle, Singh and Mandair’s edited volume Sikh Religion, Culture and Ethnicity, Curzon 2001.
Dr. Bhogal has also engaged with public outreach, being invited to speak as an expert in South Asian religions. In this regard he has served as a judge in the fourth annual Spinning Wheel Art and Literature Competition in Toronto, and has made six television appearances for the 3D Dialogue program on OMNI Television, Toronto. Dr. Bhogal is scheduled to participate in “The Politics of Religion-Making” conference at Hofstra University, sponsored by the Hofstra Cultural Center and the Department of Religion, October 4, 5 and 6, 2007, and will also present ‘Questioning Secularism from the standpoint of Religion – Or, How to Encounter Cultural Difference’ at the American Academy of Religion in San Diego, November 2007. He is currently working on two book projects reinterpreting Sikh scripture.
The Sardarni Kuljit Bindra Chair in Sikh Studies is endowed by Ishar Singh Bindra and his family in honor of Mr. Bindra’s wife and family matriarch, Sardarni Kuljit Kaur Bindra. The chair was established to promote the academic study of Sikh religion, culture and history. The endowment supports the appointment of a faculty member in Sikh Studies, helps build the University Library’s holdings in Sikhism, provides scholarship assistance to students interested in Sikh religion and culture, and funds annual conferences and lectures directed toward the academic community as well as the general public.
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